Crash.Net F1 News
Qualifying improvement target for Lotus
2 April 2013
Lotus says it is eager to get more qualifying pace from the new E21 despite the car having already proven itself to be a race winner in F1 2013.
Kimi Raikkonen took the spoils in Australia when the new campaign got underway, making the most of his strategy to come through from seventh on the grid to cross the line first.
That qualifying performance has been the best to date for the team, with Romain Grosjean eighth on the grid in Australia and the pair tenth and eleventh in Malaysia.
With that in mind, race team manager Paul Seaby admitted that Lotus was eager to find more one lap pace to give the two drivers a better chance of qualifying towards the front; in turn giving them a better chance of repeating the success enjoyed at Albert Park.
“One of the main objectives is to make sure both drivers have the latest parts available to them,” he said of Lotus' aims for the upcoming races in China and Bahrain. “Romain of course was running without the latest spec exhaust system and related bodywork in Malaysia, and there will be further additions to come for both cars on top of that.
“We're also aiming to get more from the car in qualifying trim. We know the E21 is strong in terms of race pace, but it goes without saying that better grid positions give the drivers a better chance of achieving top results. If we can bring everything together, there's a good chance we'll be competitive again in China.”
While he admitted that the team had 'lost its mojo' in Malaysia, Seaby was also full of praise for the way the team had performed in the opening races of the campaign.
“The work produced by the race team over these past few weeks has been fantastic,” he said. “This was most notable in Malaysia where we had to remove the gearboxes from both cars after qualifying, in addition to carrying out repairs to the bodywork and floors. That the drivers were able to go straight out and comfortably completed a race distance – without any install laps to check over these repairs – demonstrates what a thorough and effective job the crew managed to do under a great deal of pressure.”